My Adventure in Chickens began this past March, when I finally succumbed and came home from TSC with 8 little Peeps in a box. I became the proud mother of 4 Red Star and 4 Australorps. (The Aussies were straight run, and I had to take my chances...imagine my delight when they all turned out to be pullets!) I named them all after famous Opera sopranos. I installed them in their new home, my guest bathtub, where it quickly became apparent that they could not stay there long! I quickly built a brooder (with a lid!) in my kitchen and that became their new home for the next couple of months.
Now it was time to begin planning their permanent outdoor quarters. It was at this point that I discovered BYC, as I was googling coop plans. I snagged some ideas here and there and came up with this, and so far I've been very happy with it. The Peeps seem to like it, too.
They get to free-range on my 3 acre mini farm all day and put themselves to bed in the evening, and then I go out and do a head count and shut the door.
Now, I mentioned earlier that I discovered BYC while researching coops, and it was at this time that I discovered Polish chickens. They had to be the cutest things I'd seen in a long time! I was determined to find some! I found a local breeder and got 3 little 5-day-old Peeps. One sadly didn't make it, and the other two both turned out to be little Roo's, so I made my choice and let the other little boy go back to the breeder. My remaining little Roo, whom I named Bowie, is my heart. He is like a little lap dog. Since he was an "only child" and I was afraid the girls would pick on him, I introduced him VERY gradually. He spent the night in the kitchen for almost the first 6 months, and only when he was fully accepted by the girls did I let him start spending the night in the coop with them. It has been a smooth transition, even if it did take forever!
Ok, now it's time for pics of my Peeps! These are just random, from the time I brought them home up to the present.
Moving Day! Finally in their Big Girl coop!
Training Eggs (it really works!) and the First Egg! I now consistently get 7 a day, sometimes 8!
And then, Bowie joined the family!
He was, at this point, fairly sure that he'd be happy being a Couch Chicken for the rest of his life. He hadn't discovered girls yet.
Bowie, all grown up and with his wives!
This is where he likes to put himself to "bed" sometimes!
Bowie and Abigaille, his favorite wife.
Some family pictures...
I am looking forward to next spring, when I will hopefully raise some Grand-Peeps! In the meantime, it's fun to watch them grow up and interact. I don't know what took me so long to finally get chickens! I adore them and can't even imagine not having them anymore!
I have Grandpeeps!
In October, I was given an incubator by someone who was getting out of chickens (I can't even imagine getting out of chickens! But I digress...)
Anyway...there was absolutely NO WAY I was going to let that incubator sit there empty on my kitchen counter! A very good friend of mine had already told me that she wants to get some laying hens next year, and I had recently lost Konstanze and Giovanna to a coyote, so setting some eggs was a no-brainer! My first hatch was a success: on the weekend of Nov. 1, 8 out of 9 hatched! Bowie's first kids are absolutely darling! Here are some pics of them from hatching to the present.
This is Fashion. I have no idea where his yummy chocolate color came from, but he is gorgeous!
The gang's all here!
Fashion in a blackmail picture.
Little China. Such a sweet baby.
Genie. "I believe I can fly!"
Ziggy. My firstborn!
Stardust's topknot starting to look like something. She's about a month old here.
Rebel Rebel. Precious girl. Wish I could keep her, but she's promised to my friend!
Fashion is a gorgeous boy!
Stardust is amazing. Cutest, fluffiest face ever!
Rebel's beautiful little face.
Rebel again. 8 weeks old here.
I could not be happier with my first Grandpeeps!